I have a FICO score of 700 and I was denied credit by a crazy loan company. Go figure!
This is because credit score is only half the equation.
You may have the 700 score needed to qualify for a $500,000 mortage, but if you only make 35k/year, you won't have enough money to make the payments, which means: no loan.
Lenders look at not only your credit score, but your Debt-to-Income ratio as well.
Specifically, there are two ratios that are important:
(1) "The Front End" : the amount of your projected housing payment divided by your monthly pre-tax income
(2) "The Back End" : the amount of your projected housing payment PLUS any minimum payments you have on any other debts that appear on your credit report divided by your monthly pre-tax income
Usually, lenders like to keep the front end under 25-36% (IE your projected housing payment is no more than 25-36% of your monthly pre-tax income) and the back end under 40-45% (meaning your TOTAL debt payments, for housing and credit cards and car payment, etc. are no more than 40-45% of your gross monthly income).
If the loan that was denied was for a student loan, that may have to do with the fact that student loan lenders often pull only the information that interests them, not everything, AND they consider you as having no income because you will be studying.
They are different beasts all together.